A Kenyan court has sentenced four policemen to imprisonment for the murder of British aristocrat Alexander Monson. Monson died in custody after being detained near Mombasa in 2012.
Judge Eric Ogola ruled that British aristocrat Alexander Monson was brutally tortured and planted marijuana after his death. The judge said that the officers covered up what happened to the 28-year-old.
Four officers have been sentenced to nine to 15 years in prison, but five to six years of each sentence are suspended.
Who was Alexander Monson?
Monson was the son of Lord Nicholas Monson and heir to the family estate in Lincolnshire. In 2008, he moved to Kenya to live with his mother, Hilary Monson.
He was arrested for allegedly smoking marijuana in the seaside resort of Diani south of Mombasa in May 2012.
Police initially concluded that Monson had died of a drug overdose, but an investigation in June 2018 found that he died of a head injury. Toxicology reports showed that he had no drugs in his body at that time. “Drugs were planted on the deceased after his death as a cover,” said Judge Ogola, adding that Monson was in good health prior to arriving at the station.
The judge found that those who brutally tortured Monson were known to four policemen: Naftali Chege, Charles Wangombe Munyiri, Barace Bulimi and John Pamba. He added that the court had not been able to find out who they were because of the “police code of silence”.
According to the judge, Monson’s death was due to “unlawful omission on the part of the accused who failed to seek medical care in a timely manner.”
Mother disappointed in the sentence
The deceased’s family appeared in court, including his parents. Hilary Monson told reporters she was disappointed in the sentence. Prior to the ruling, she made an emotional appeal on behalf of herself and other Kenyan mothers, saying that a strong signal must be sent against police brutality. Human rights organizations have documented hundreds of killings by police officers over the years, most of which have not been investigated.
The Monson family has spent thousands of dollars to get the case this far – resources that many people in this country do not have.
Main photo source: AFP